Princeton Wins $20,000 Grant for Curbside Food Waste Program!

Princeton has been awarded a Sustainable Jersey grant of $20,000 to support the Curbside Food to Compost Program.   Princeton is one of just four communities, out of 28 applicants in the $20,000 category, to receive a grant of this size. Close up of green rolling food waste bin at side of driveway

The grant will support a campaign, spearheaded by Sustainable Princeton, to expand the town’s award-winning program.

The Curbside program, which was piloted by the Township Public Works Department, provides participating households with rolling waste bins that are picked up weekly.  Residents use compostable or biodegradable trash bags and fill the bins with food and organic waste, including everything from fish bones to pizza boxes, kitchen trimmings and plate waste. The waste is trucked to a compost facility which turns it into nutrient rich soil.  (See our previous post for more details about the pilot program.)

There are a number of benefits to the Curbside Food to Compost program. Not only does it save money for the town due to increased recycle rates and lower trash dumping fees, but it turns waste into a usable product.

“We are thrilled to accept this grant to assist Princeton in expanding its Curbside Food to Compost program. We believe the program is a model that can be replicated by towns across New Jersey.   Not only does curbside compost make financial sense for a community but it keeps organic waste out of New Jersey’s overburdened landfills and turns it into nutrient rich soil,” says Matthew Wasserman, Board Chair of Sustainable Princeton.

Currently, 460 Princeton households participate in the program, a small portion of the 9,500 housing units in the entire town of Princeton.  Through the grant, Sustainable Princeton aims to increase participation in the curbside organic program to 1500 or more households over an 18 month period.

The 2012 Sustainable Jersey Small Grants Program funded by the PSEG Foundation is providing a total of $200,000 in grants to local governments for sustainability projects.

“PSEG is committed to being a steward of the environment and making meaningful contributions to the communities it serves,” said Anne Hoskins, senior vice president of public affairs and sustainability for PSEG, one of New Jersey’s oldest companies and largest employers. “We are proud to support this program and to fund projects that will make life better in neighborhoods all over New Jersey.”

Sustainable Princeton’s vision is that everyone in Princeton lives and works in ways that are sustainable, including reducing energy use and waste, protecting the natural environment, and meeting human needs fairly and efficiently.

For more information about Sustainable Princeton's programs and projects, please contact Diane or Andrea via our contact page, sign up for our email list, and attend our monthly meetings!  And be sure to see this recent post about our great volunteer opportunities!